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Wind energy problems far less serious than coal and nuclear’s problems

Wind preferable to nuclear, coal,  MyCentralJersey  21 July 1No energy source is without some adverse environmental impact. Even wind power poses some concerns. But given the alternatives in New Jersey, especially coal and nuclear, wind power should be an important part of the energy mix.

So it was welcome news last week when the U.S. Department of Interior announced that 344,000 acres of sea floor off Long Beach Island and the southern Jersey Shore will be opened to wind power development. Leases will be offered to companies that want to build wind turbines along the ocean floor, starting about seven miles off Long Beach Island, Atlantic City and Cape May County.

A forecast analysis by the U.S. Department of Energy says that if that area is developed to maximum potential, turbine fields would generate up to 3,400 megawatts, enough to power 1.2 million homes…………

given the negative impacts of other traditional sources of energy — coal, gas and nuclear — the adverse effects of wind turbines pale in comparison.

Wind power is hardly a new or untested technology. Turbines supply energy off the California coast and abroad in Europe.

Renewable energy — wind, solar and other alternative technologies — is essential if the U.S. is to wean itself off nuclear and coal during the next 20 to 25 years. Nuclear should not be in the mix. It’s costly, it poses safety, health and environmental risks, and it is becoming prohibitively expensive to build new plants.

So far, the government’s wind-energy initiative for the Atlantic coast has led to five commercial wind-energy leases being awarded in Massachusetts, Delaware and Virginia.

In New Jersey, after formal publication of the proposal in the Federal Register today, there will be a 60-day public comment period ending Sept. 19, after which a date for the bidding will be announced.

None of the issues raised by critics should derail the future of wind power in New Jersey.

July 23, 2014 - Posted by | general

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